ACM SIGCHI General Interest Announcements (Mailing List)


Options: Use Forum View

Use Monospaced Font
Show Text Part by Default
Show All Mail Headers

Message: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]
Topic: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]
Author: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]

Print Reply
Christopher Frauenberger <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Christopher Frauenberger <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 20 Apr 2009 09:46:08 -0400
text/plain (68 lines)

Freedom vs Protection in the Age of Networks
HCI 2009 Workshop, 6th September in Cambridge, UK

Deadline: 1 May 2009

The first generation of Apple iPods shipped with a piece of cellophane over the screen 
bearing the words "do not steal music" in four languages. If it were not already obvious, 
the message indicated that here - potentially at least - was a music stealing machine. 
Like makers of video recorders, Apple argued that the device was intended solely for 
legitimate uses, although the device did not and could not enforce the law. This defence 
didn't work for early file sharing sites like Napster and Kazaa and, increasingly, digital 
service providers are expected to constrain and restrict their users.

However there are many instances where openness in design has led to unexpected 
developments. Second Life was built as a space for game designers to try out ideas; 
nobody planned for it to be colonized as an online world. During the plane crash in the 
Hudson River, the users of Twitter provided images and eye witness accounts before any 
of the media: again the site's founders never planned for it to be used in this way. These 
media support old human activities in new ways but there are also instances of 
technology development allowing for unexpected forms of human behaviour as in, for 
instance, new forms of sexual interaction.

The manner in which we design determines what flexibility and discretion stays with 
users. Web 2.0 and other network phenomena bring with them new opportunities and 
risks and different potential for managing them. Medical, social care and educational 
systems link up people considered vulnerable by society with technology in ways that are 
protective, but could also be read as normative. Benjamin Franklin said "Those who 
desire to give up freedom in order to gain security will not have, nor do they deserve, 
either one." But HCI as a discipline has successfully used a protective approach to 
challenge human cognitive limitations and no one would argue that safety critical systems 
need more latitude for human error. This workshop will consider the tensions and the 
many dimensions of a protective stance as ubiquitous computing and the "internet of 
things" bring new challenges to the embedding of social relations in software.

Position papers that address this tension are invited on topics, such as, but not limited to:
* Intellectual Property and the Right to Share
* Security vs Privacy and Anonymity
* Designer Intent and User Appropriation
* Human Computer Sexual Interactions
* The Social Implications of Digital Networks

The day will include an invited keynote, short presentations and discussion. Both 
academic and industrial researchers are invited to reflect across domains on their 
practice: any aspect of the theme will be of interest so long as it relates to networked 

To participate, please submit a two page position paper to [log in to unmask] 
by May 1st.

The workshop will take place on 6th Sept in Cambridge, UK, to follow the British HCI 
conference (2nd-5th).

Organising group:
Ann Light, Sheffield Hallam University
Chris Frauenberger, University of Sussex
Louise Valgerdur Nickerson, Queen Mary University of London
Mark Blythe, University of York

                To unsubscribe, send an empty email to
     mailto:[log in to unmask]
    For further details of CHI lists see